The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

DIY Gifts from Kids: Child Silhouette Portraits

November 6, 2015

Young girl's profileWith the holidays just around the corner, why not get your children involved in making homemade gifts for your family? Not only will you gain the opportunity to spend quality time with each other, but your children will feel a sense of pride in giving something to their loved ones that they helped to create.

This silhouette craft for kids could be a great present from grandchildren to their grandparents.

What you’ll need:

  • Large sheets of white drawing paper (at least 2 sheets per portrait)
  • Black construction paper
  • Sharp pencil
  • Safety scissors
  • Glue stick and adhesive tape
  • Desk lamp or floor lamp or other source of bright light
  • Chair or stool
  • Picture frame 8”x10”
  • Ready-made matboard to fit between the picture frame and the silhouette portrait


    1. Affix a large sheet of white paper to a wall. Put the chair or stool in front of the paper, facing sideways. Put the lamp or other light source in front of the chair, pointing the light toward the paper on the wall.


    1. Have your child (or the subject of the silhouette) sit on the chair, so that your child’s profile shadow is cast onto the white paper. Adjust the lamp so that it produces a sharp shadow on the paper. Typically, the closer the subject is to the light, the more definition you will be able to produce in the silhouette.


    1. While your child or the subject of the silhouette sits very still, trace the outline of the subject’s head, neck and shoulders onto the white paper, using the pencil.


    1. Remove the paper from the wall. Lightly apply glue to the back of the paper and then attach it to the black construction paper, silhouette outline side up.


    1. Using the safety scissors, carefully cut around the silhouette outline. The more accurately that you cut into the details of the outline, the more defined and recognizable that the final silhouette will be.


    1. Remove the white paper from the final black silhouette. Apply some more glue to the back of the black paper silhouette and attach it to a fresh piece of white paper.


  1. Tape the finished black silhouette to the ready-made matboard, using just enough tape to hold it in place at the top. Then, place the matboard-mounted silhouette in the picture frame. Voila! Your silhouette project is complete.
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Categories: Parenting Tips
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